Atkinson's "St. George and the Turkish Knight", 1885

J.A.Atkinson (1885)


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Context:
Location: Longsight, Lancashire, England (SJ8696)
Year: Publ. About 1885
Time of Occurrence: Christmas
Collective Name: Mummers

Source:

J.Augustus Atkinson
St. George and the Turkish Knight: A Ryghte Auncient and Tragicale Christmas Drama, as represented at St. John's School, Longsight.
Manchester, John Heywood, [1885?]


Cast: (Click on any name for the character name index.)
Text:

{St. George and the Turkish Knight;}

{A ryghte Ancient and Tragicale Christmas Drama.}

{OVERTURE.- (Air. "The Mistletoe Bough.")}

{The curtain rises and discloses FATHER CHRISTMAS, with staff in hand, standing on raised pedestal. He descends and majestically traverses the stage. Music plays.}

FATHER CHRISTMAS.-

Room, room, brave gallants, room!
I'm just come to shew you some merry sport and game,
To help pass away
This cold winter day,
Old activity, new activity,
such activity as was never seen before,
And perhaps will never be seen no more.

{He pauses, then advances to the front.}

Here come I, old Father Christmas, Christmas, Christmas,
Welcome or welcome not,
I hope old Father Christmas
Will never be forgot.
All in this room there shall be shewn
The dreadfullest battle that ever was known.
So walk in, St. George, with thy free heart,
And see whether thou canst claim peace for thine own part.

{Bugle sounds. Enter St. George (left hand.)}

[St. George]

In comes I, St. George - St. George, the man of courage bold,
With my broad sword and spear I won ten crowns of gold;
I fought the fiery dragon,
And drove him to the slaughter;
And by that means I won
The King of Egypt's daughter.
Therefore if any man dare enter this door,
I'll hack him small as dust,
And after send him to the cook's shop
To be made into mince-pie crust.

{Bugle sounds. Enter Turkish Knight (right hand.)}

[Turkish Knight]

Here comes I, the Turkish knight,
Just come from Turkey-land to fight;
I'll fight thee, St. George-St.George, thou man of courage bold,
If thy blood be too hot, I'll quickly fetch it cold.

ST. GEORGE.-

Wo ho! my little fellow, thou talkest very bold,
Just like the little Turks, as I have been told ;
Therefore, thou Turkish knight, {Threatening him.}
Pull out thy sword, and fight;
Pull out thy purse and pay;
I'll have satisfaction ere thou goest away.

TURKISH KNIGHT.-

Satisfaction! no satisfaction at all!
My head is made with iron, my body lined with steel;
I'll battle thee, to see which on the ground shall fall.

ST. GEORGE.-

You battle me! Come on, then! I'll rub your nose- '
I'll smash your turban'd nob, and chop off your toes.

TURKISH KNIGHT.-

You hold your tongue, St. George! none of your chaff here,
Wail till I've wallop'd you, won't you just look queer?

{Flourish of Trumpets. They rush at each other and fight. The Turkish Knight falls.}

ST. GEORGE.-

Oh! only behold, and see what I have been and done,
Gone and kili'd my brother, just like the evening sun.

{He walks round his prostrate foe, then recollects himself.}

I have a little bottle, call'd Elecampane;
If the man is alive, let him rise and fight again.

{The Turkish Knight revives, and raises himself upon his fences in supplication.}

TURKISH KNIGHT.-

O pardon me, St. George! O pardon me, I crave!
O pardon me this once, and I will be thy slave.

ST. GEORGE.-

I never will pardon a Turkish Knight,
Therefore arise, and try thy might.

{Flourish of Trumpets. They fight again. At last the Turkish Knight falls.}

{A Dirge is played. Enter King of Egypt, followed by page. He discovers his son on the ground, embraces him in passionate grief, then turns to St. George.}

KING.-

St. George, St, George, what hast thou done?
For thou hast slain mine only son;
What shall I do? Here lies my noble boy;
How can I save him - his mother's only joy?

{He looks about in anguish.}

Is there a doctor to be found,
That can cure this man lies bleeding on the ground.

{Enter Doctor.}

DOCTOR.-

O yes, there is a doctor to be found,
That can cure this man lies bleeding on the ground.

{Examines the Knight.}

KING.-

O doctor, doctor, what is thy fee?
Look sharp now, and tell me.

DOCTOR.-

Ten guineas is my fee,
But ten pounds I'll take of thee.

KING.-

That's cheap enough. Where is my purse?
I'm not sure I've got it.
Doctor, what canst thou cure?

DOCTOR.-

I can cure the ague, palsy, and the gout,
And that's a roving pain that goes within and out;
A broken leg, or arm, I soon can cure the pain;
And if thou break'st thy neck, I'll shortly set it again;
Bring me an old woman, of fourscore years and ten,
Without a tooth in her head - I'll bring her young and plump again.

ST. GEORGE.-

Doctor, you are a knowing chap ! I see you twig,
Look here, now! How much will you take for your wig ?

{Goes up and snatches at the wig.}

DOCTOR.-

You want a wigging. Come, get out of my light!
I'm going to cure the Turk. So budge, Sir Knight!

KING.-

Thou be'st a noble doctor, if that's all true thou be'st talking about.

DOCTOR.-

I'm not like these little mountebank doctors
that go about the streets and say this and that and the other,
and tell yon as many lies in one half-hour as you would find true in seven years,
But what I does, I does clean before your eyes;
And, Ladies and Gentlemen, if you won't believe your own eyes, it is a very hard case.

KING.-

'Tis, doctor.

DOCTOR.-

I carry a little bottle by my side, that I call Golden Foster Drops.
One drop on the root of the man's tongue, and another on his crown,
and it will strike the heat throughout the body and raise him off the ground,

{The Doctor administers the bottle. The Turkish Knight slowly rises.}

ST. GEORGE.-

Arise, arise, thou cowardly dog,
And see how uprightly thou canst stand I

TURKISH KNIGHT.-

Stand upright! I should think so. I'm all serene;
St. George thought he'd kill'd me, but he's jolly green.

KING {joyfully.}-

My son, my son, how glad I am you're well,
For your recovery you must thank this swell.

{Pointing to the Doctor.}

TURKISH KNIGHT.-

The rascal! he drugged me. You nasty old quack,
I've a great mind to kick you.

DOCTOR.-

Hold, you foul black!
You're an ungrateful Turkey cock. Stick up your gills,
But you sha'n't insult me, a purveyor of pills.

ST. GEORGE.-

Never mind him, Doctor , let him and his governor go home,
I say Sir Salaheddeen, go quietly home into your own country,
and tell them what Old England has done for you -
how St. George has floored you.
Yes, and tell your folks we English will fight ten thousand better men than you.

{St. George brandishes his sword, and cries out}

Merry old England for ever!

{"See the conquering hero comes" is played.}

{FATHER CHRISTMAS, who has teen on the back of the stage, comes forward.}

FATHER CHRISTMAS.-

Peace, peace! what a shindy! what's the matter?
Come back, Sir What's-your-Name! Who is your hatter?
No more fighting and squabbling! think of the season;
Remember it's Christmas time; that's the best reason
Why all should be peaceful, and happy, and kind-
United in friendship, and all of one mind.
Stop, and I'll shew you the happiest life:
Not fighting, but love, and a sweet little wife.

{"Sir Roger de Coverley" is played. Enter JOHNNY JACK with wife and family, cracking his whip and dancing.}

JOHNNY JACK.-

Here comes I, little Johnny Jack,
Wife and family at my back;
My family's large, though I am small,
And so a little helps us all.
Roast beef, plum-pudding, good beer, and mince-pie,
Who loves that better than Father Christmas and I?

ALL.-

Bravo! bravo!

ST. GEORGE.-

Old Father Christmas is quite right,
I'm sure it's very wrong to fight;
I'll give up fighting,
And I'll take a wife and have some wedding-cake.

TURKISH KNIGHT.-

So will I.

DOCTOR,-

So will I.

KING {in melancholy voice.-}

I've got my old woman at home.

ST. GEORGE.-{pointing to audience}

I see a girl to love - she is out there -
She has two rosy lips and jet black hair.

TURKISH KNIGHT.-

I see a girl to love. - her eyes are blue -
I'll whisper in her ear, "Beauty, be true."

DOCTOR.-

I see a girl to love - I'll doctor her free,
Whenever she wants it, if she will love me.

JOHNNY JACK.-

Here is the wife I love. Friends, look at us;
Here are my boys and girls; we never fuss;
We are as happy as happy can be;
And we hope you may all be as happy as we;
Three hearty Christmas cheers will make us merry and sing,
Some money in our pockets will be a very fine thing.
So, ladies and gentlemen, all at your ease.
Give the Christmas Mummers what applause you please.


Notes:

Indexer's Notes:

Atkinson is named on the cover of this booklet at the arranger of the text. Most of the text appears to have been derived from Charlotte Young's book "The Christmas Mummers" (1856).

The publication is not dated, but the British Library catalogue entry gives "1861?", which is consistent with the earliest of Atkinson's dated publications. On the other hand, Atkinson was rector of Longsight from 1879 to 1885 (M.J.Preston & P.Smith, personal communications). Also, another of Atkinson's publications dated 1885 advertises his "St. George and the Turkish Knight" as "Now Ready". A date of "about 1885" therefore seems appropriate.

Atkinson's Cast and Costume lists:

"Characters Represented.

OLD FATHER CHRISTMAS, (a seasonable old chap.)

ST. GEORGE, Champion of England (a mighty fine Knight.)

SALAH-ED-DEEN, the Turkish Knight (a fellow who deserves a good kicking and gets it.)

THE KING OF EGYPT, Father of the above (a weeping crocodile.)

THE DOCTOR, (Prince of Quacks.)

JOHNNY JACK, (not Johnny Lord Russell, with his Namby pamberleys,)

MRS. JOHNNY JACK, (the mamma of a numerous and interesting family of little Jacks.)

PAGE (a nice young fellow for a small tea party.)

Costumes.

OLD FATHER CHRISTMAS.- Loose white robe, scarlet cape and girdle, crown of holly, long white heard,

ST. GEORGE.- Silver armour, helmet, sword, and shield, with St. George and the Dragon.

TURKISH KNIGHT.- Red trousers, blue loose jacket, turban, sword, and shield with crescent.

KING OF EGYPT.- Yellow trousers, purple coat, crimson train, gold crown.

DOCTOR,- Black swallow-tail coat and knee breeches, white waistcoat, perruque, long nose.

JOHNNY JACK.- Smock frock, wide-awake, carter's whip.

MRS. JOHNNY JACK.- Straw bonnet, cotton dress, and woollen shawl.

JOHNNY JACK'S FAMILY, (Dolls of all sizes in a cart.)

PAGE.- White tunic, loose trousers, cap braided with red, girdle.


File History:
27th February 2002 - Scanned and coded by Peter Millington

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